Intel software guy: ‘Why I will never own an electronic book’
September 4, 2008 | 1:27 pm
"What really burns my biscuits is the ‘state-of-the-art’ in search capability that is so gosh darn literal. If you don’t know the exact term you want to find, you’re surely outta luck. For example (and this comes from a search engine since I don’t have an e-book reader), I was trying to find the online article "The ‘Anti-Java’ Professor and the Jobless Programmers," which I had read about a month prior. Since I didn’t know the exact title, I tried "java unemployed programmer" as a search term. After hundreds of hits for out-of-work Java programmers looking for jobs, I gave up. I searched through my email archives with the same terms and came up blank. Only after poring over my e-mail by hand did I find the URL I was looking for."
Perhaps a more relevant example would be looking for a quote by a character in a novel I had just read. I knew about where this was in the book and what was going on when the quote was given, so I could open up the pages and look forward and backward, skimming text looking for the exact quote. Since I only had an idea about the content of the quote and not the exact words I needed to identify what I wanted to find, I can only imagine wasting tens of minutes doing an electronic search with variations of the key words trying to locate what I wanted.
OK, gang, go to work while remaining civil. Even with the current limits of search in e-books, I myself can find things faster than in P. What’s more, I wouldn’t be surprised to see search technology eventually include Google’s fuzzy-style features—in addition to synonym capabilities. The real Google, of course, could offer this in Web-based titles, including networked books. And with Gears, who knows about fancy searches offline as well?